September 4, 2014 / 7:42 AM / 3 years ago

Kinnevik, Rocket create online emerging market fashion firm

BERLIN, Sept 4 (Reuters) - German venture capital group Rocket Internet, which is mulling an imminent stock market floatation, announced on Thursday it would team up with Swedish investor Kinnevik to create a fashion e-commerce group focused on emerging markets.

Rocket Internet and Kinnevik, which holds an 18 percent stake in the Berlin-based firm, said they would combine Rocket’s five emerging market fashion start-ups - Lamoda in Russia, Dafiti in Latin America, Jabong in India, Zalora in south-east Asia and Namshi in the Middle East - into a single group, GFG.

The transaction is expected to close in late 2014 and it was not immediately clear what impact the move would have on Rocket Internet’s plans for an initial public offering, which had been expected in coming weeks after Zalando, the European e-commerce firm it also helped launch, announced it planned to list soon.

The five companies to be combined had 4.6 million active customers and over 7,000 employees as at June 30. Their websites received 8.4 million orders and generated 436 million euros ($573 million) of gross merchandise volume in the first half.

Since launching in 2011 and 2012, the five have attracted more than 1 billion euros in funding from investors including Kinnevik, Access Industries, Summit Partners, Verlinvest, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Tengelmann and still have about 350 million in cash as of June 30.

All direct and indirect shareholders will contribute their shares into a newly formed Luxembourg-based entity, with the three largest shareholders in the new group to be Kinnevik with 25.1 percent, Rocket with 23.5 percent and Access Industries with 7.4 percent.

Based on the latest funding rounds for the five firms, the new group is worth 2.7 billion euros, Rocket and Kinnevik said.

1 US dollar = 0.7612 euro Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Potter

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